By Tom Samiljan
May 27, 2014

Looking to book a Shanghai street-food tour or a Provençal cooking class? Let these new food apps and sites take care of the legwork.

Best For Tailored Recommendations: Peek

Like an OpenTable for guided activities and food crawls, Peek (free; iOS) provides direct booking service straight from the app or website. Its real strength lies in its carefully curated content—all outings are vetted by Peek staff or trusted tastemakers. Take a quick personality quiz for customized suggestions.

Why Foodies Love It: Unique offerings—a dinner cruise on the Thames in London; a coffee plantation visit in Maui—are the rule, not the exception.

Most User-Friendly: Zerve

Better for planning ahead than for booking on the fly, Web-only Zerve (free; web only) stands out for its handy neighborhood filters, which let you zero in on specific parts of town—a Foods of New York walking tour, for instance, can happen in Chinatown, NoHo, or Chelsea. Also useful: customer reviews that separate the wheat from the chaff.

Why Foodies Love It: The clean interface and broad range of destinations make it easy to find exactly what you’re craving.

Best For Deals: Viator

The pioneer of online excursion booking, Viator (pictured; free; Android, iOS) delivers more than 1,300 food and drink itineraries around the world: many are offered as exclusive deals, and all have low-price guarantees. Among its smartest features? Sorting options by proximity to your hotel, and booking confirmations that sync with iPhone’s Passbook.

Why Foodies Love It: Should Viator not have what you’re looking for, it lets you create a custom experience.

Best International: Get Your Guide

Though it’s most comprehensive in Europe (tapas-bar hopping in Madrid; pizza tasting in Rome), Get Your Guide (free; Android, iOS) has standout day trips the world over. Thanks to a fun tool that lets you browse globally, it doubles as a source for ideas even before airfare is booked—especially great for travelers who like to (literally) follow their gut.

Why Foodies Love It: With 1,500-plus culinary adventures, there’s no shortage of inspiration here.

Trend Alert: Peer-to-Peer Dining

Want to check out Argentinean parrilla in a Porteño’s backyard—or a lobster bake on a tiny Maine beach? Just head to one of many Airbnb-like websites that connect hungry travelers with local hosts. EatWith and MealSharing, the original players, have the most momentum and offerings across the globe, but excellent regional sites are also cropping up: Cookening, in France; PlateCulture, in Southeast Asia; and EatFeastly, here in the United States. And just as with Airbnb, they all provide user ratings, round-the-clock customer support, and money-back guarantees.

Tom Samiljan is Travel + Leisure’s Tech Correspondent.

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